In our current day and age of treating the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper (when not ignoring it altogether), this latest poll from Rasmussen Reports is interesting:
the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% believe the Constitution doesn’t place enough restrictions on the government. Only 10% hold the opposite view and say the nation’s governing charter places too many restrictions on government. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the balance is about right.
The thing is, our Constitution does a fabulous job of restricting government; in fact, the Founders specifically designed it to restrict government because they knew all too well the dangers to freedom and personal liberty that usually comes from inadequately restrained government.
The weak link in the equation is obedience to and respect for the Constitution. The best constitution or set of rules in the world are no good when they are not followed. And when those elected to be entrusted with the protection and enforcement of the Constitution are themselves derelict in their duties, the Constitution can do no good, no matter how well it was constructed.
As Founder and second president of the United States John Adams said,
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other
Unfortunately as our nation has moved away from the Christian moral foundations upon which our civilization was built, our leaders have shown more and more contempt for the restrictions of the Constitution. Furthermore, average citizens have also moved away from our moral foundations, and in so doing, have acquiesced or even cheered this contempt for our Constitution. It takes a lot of integrity–which can only be built on a firm moral foundation–to discipline one’s self from acting improperly when nothing or no one is forcing compliance.
If our nation is to return to the state of limited government mandated by the enumerated powers of Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and the reservation of powers found in the Tenth Amendment, we as a people must turn ourselves back to our moral foundation.
We must also begin to hold our representatives accountable to their oath, which says in part:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
Those are not mere words to be mouthed, empty of meaning and commitment. I should know: I swore words much like them several times during my military career, and I consider myself honor-bound by them even though I have been out of the military for many years. These words are a solemn promise to uphold the highest law of our nation.
Those who refuse to keep their oath should be held accountable by the people, and thrown out of office at the earliest opportunity.
This is at the heart of what’s behind the Tea Party movement. A growing number of Americans are awakening to the fact that our government has gone way, way beyond its constitutional limits and has left the borders of sanity far behind.
On April 15, 1,500 of those Americans here in Rapid City–and around a million across the country in about 2,000 cities–have answered the call of duty and patriotism to begin holding our government accountable to the people it exists to serve. And there were millions more who because of work or other obligations couldn’t join the crowds but are with the Tea Parties in spirit.
The next opportunity for we the people to put our out-of-control government on notice is Independence Day. On the 233rd birthday of our nation, it is fitting that Americans once again issue a call of accountability to an oppressive government which is hostile to the property, rights and freedom of its people.
Like our founding fathers, it is time for us (not to abolish or alter our government, as they found necessary) to hold our government accountable to its governing document, and to hold the elected agents of that government accountable to their sacred oath. We do not need to abolish it (because it is our government) and we do not need to alter it (because the foundation of the Constitution is sound). But we must remind the errant custodians of our government of the self-evident truths which are as valid today as they were 233 years ago:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
It is time for our elected representatives to put up or shut up. It is time for them to uphold the U.S. Constitution and put our government back in compliance with it…or it is time for them to hit the road and find another job.
America and our Constitution needs you!